Series Code: ASB
Program Code: ASB000106A
00:04 And comes from the DVD series, "Awesome Science"
00:10 On May 18th, 1980, a catastrophic event
00:14 occurred that has been called God's gift to creationists.
00:18 On a beautiful Sunday morning at 8:32 AM,
00:22 Mount St. Helens erupted and caused the largest landslide
00:25 in modern human history.
00:27 Then, for nine hours, it released the explosive power
00:31 of one atomic bomb every second.
00:33 Not only was the world shocked by the eruption's
00:36 explosive power, but it also challenged the way
00:39 that secular scientists think how catastrophes
00:42 have changed this earth.
00:44 Never did creation scientists have
00:47 such a wonderful, observable laboratory
00:49 to help explain so many other geologic features
00:52 around the world by catastrophic processes.
00:55 It doesn't take millions of years
00:57 to form canyons, stratified layers, and petrified forests,
01:01 only days, weeks, and months.
01:04 All of this and more, next, on "Awesome Science."
01:12 "Awesome Science" takes you on a field trip
01:15 to some of the most amazing geologic and historical sites
01:19 around the world where we use "The Bible" as our history
01:22 guidebook to interpret what we see,
01:24 that "The Bible" can be trusted, and empirical science
01:28 falls in line with the Biblical account of creation,
01:30 the fall, and the Flood.
01:33 Science-- it's awesome.
01:36 [music playing]
01:41 Some creationists have developed the idea of two great lakes
01:45 behind the Kaibab plateau.
01:47 This dam formed by the plateau was breached and eroded
01:51 the canyon in a matter of days as the lakes drained rapidly.
01:56 These lakes would have been left from the receding flood waters
01:59 as valleys and plateaus quickly rose at the end of the Flood,
02:03 trapping the water in these huge lakes.
02:07 Other creation scientists have suggested
02:09 the Grand Canyon, and many other canyons around the world,
02:13 were formed when the flood waters were
02:15 receding across the land cutting huge gaps in the landscape.
02:21 Whatever the mechanism, we know they
02:23 were the result of catastrophe and not slow processes.
02:27 Using Mount St. Helens as a laboratory
02:30 for studying catastrophic processes
02:32 helps us realize the incredible impact
02:34 the Flood had on forming the features
02:36 we see on this earth today.
02:44 Just to the south of Mount St. Helens
02:46 is a fascinating feature called the Trail of Two Forests.
02:51 Around 2,000 years ago when the lava flow came through here,
02:54 there was a tree standing right in this exact place.
02:57 As the lava flowed around it, it hardened
03:00 enough against the cool wood to make a form right there.
03:03 And then the wood vaporized through the heat,
03:05 and whatever was left just rotted away, leaving a hole.
03:10 Since that time, a new forest has
03:13 grown on top of the lava flow.
03:15 Hence, the Trail of Two Forests.
03:18 An easy to use walkway has been built for us
03:20 to see this great volcanic feature.
03:24 Not all the trees were upright.
03:26 Some of them fell down and created these lateral tunnels
03:29 all across the area.
03:30 Who wants to see me go down one of these right now?
03:32 Show of hands, anyone?
03:35 All right, your vote wins.
03:36 Here I go.
03:39 Are you certain my insurance covers this?
03:42 Oh well.
03:56 That was cool.
03:58 Science, it's awesome.
04:03 When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980,
04:07 the largest landslide in recorded history
04:09 slid down the mountain and into the valley below.
04:12 One fourth of the landslide barreled into Spirit Lake
04:15 causing an 860 foot tidal wave.
04:19 That wave washed up onto the surrounding hills
04:22 and into the old growth forest.
04:24 When the water came washing back into the lake,
04:27 it pulled down about one million trees with it.
04:31 The landslide also displaced the lake so
04:34 that the present level is 200 feet above the level it
04:37 was before the eruption.
04:39 Mountain cabins and lakeside camps
04:41 were buried in a matter of seconds.
04:44 As the eruption stopped and scientists
04:46 were able to go into the blast zone,
04:48 an amazing sight unfolded.
04:50 Some first thought that Spirit Lake was gone
04:53 because they couldn't see it.
04:55 But it was just covered in logs.
04:58 As the lake emerged, scientists were
05:00 excited to know this would be their first chance
05:03 to study how logs would behave after this catastrophe.
05:06 What they found would forever change the way
05:09 they thought about the development
05:11 of petrified forests.
05:13 Since 1980, the number of logs on the lake
05:16 has decreased dramatically.
05:18 After the eruption, scientists studied
05:20 how the logs became water logged because the root
05:23 balls at the bottom of the logs were denser,
05:26 they began to sink first, forcing the logs
05:28 to stand upright halfway in the water.
05:32 As the log soaked up more and more water,
05:34 they began to sink to the bottom of the lake.
05:37 What also became evident was certain species
05:40 remained floating while others disappeared beneath the waters.
05:45 After careful study, it was discovered
05:47 that some tree species, such as Noble Fir and Silver Fir
05:51 contained the less resin.
05:53 Resin slows the absorption of water.
05:56 So those logs with more resin would stay afloat longer.
06:01 The other curious thing about the ones
06:03 that were still floating was that their bark
06:05 had been stripped off.
06:07 Where did the bark go?
06:08 The only logical explanation is that it
06:10 went to the bottom of the lake.
06:13 These processes were new to scientists.
06:15 So they began to study them in this living laboratory.
06:19 What excited them the most was how what they found
06:23 could help them interpret other geologic sites
06:25 around the world.
06:27 With many of the logs, and all of the bark,
06:29 gone from the top of the lake.
06:31 The real mystery lay below the waters.
06:34 After getting the right permits, they took a small boat down
06:38 to Spirit Lake with a sonar towfish.
06:41 They went back and forth among the giant logs
06:44 and mapped the bottom of the lake.
06:46 What they found was amazing.
06:49 The sonar map showed as many as 10,000 small and large logs
06:54 standing straight up on the bottom at various levels
06:57 in the sediments.
06:59 Then, Dr. Austin did what any good scientist would
07:02 do, further investigation.
07:05 He and his team put on scuba gear
07:07 and dove about 100 feet down.
07:10 As the sonar map had showed, they
07:12 found logs standing upright at different levels.
07:15 Some were planted firmly.
07:17 Others they could move back and forth.
07:19 They also had root masses at the bottom,
07:22 but broken off, as if they were pulled out
07:24 of the ground in a Catastrophe
07:27 Given the right conditions, such as another eruption from Mount
07:30 St. Helens, these logs could end up completely
07:33 buried under ash and sediments.
07:36 If the area was eroded away, it would give the appearance
07:39 that multiple forests had grown there, one on top of the other,
07:43 over many years.
07:45 Dr. Austin began to look at other geologic features
07:49 to see if they could be explained
07:50 using Spirit Lake as a model.
07:53 He turned his attention to Yellowstone's Petrified Forest
07:56 at Specimen Ridge.
07:58 Secular scientists developed the idea
08:00 that this petrified forest was at least 27 different forests
08:04 which grew there over millions of years.
08:06 A forest would grow, then get destroyed by an eruption.
08:09 Another forest would grow on top of that, and so on.
08:13 The time frame to develop all these forests
08:16 would have been much greater than the biblical time scale
08:18 of 4,350 years since the Flood.
08:22 So Dr. Austin chose to look at it from a catastrophic model,
08:26 keeping the global flood in mind.
08:28 Something a secular scientist would never consider.
08:31 Dr. Austin and his team hypothesized
08:34 that if this forest was developed the same processes
08:37 as that at Spirit Lake, there should
08:39 be very little evidence for multiple forests
08:41 over long ages.
08:43 They got permission to dig up some
08:45 of the root balls of the trees.
08:47 Just as they suspected, the trees
08:49 didn't have spreading roots because they didn't grow there.
08:53 Just like at Spirit Lake, these logs
08:55 were ripped out in a catastrophe and deposited here.
08:59 They found several other key factors,
09:01 which determined the trees didn't grow there.
09:04 The tree rings all matched in size.
09:07 There was no evidence of burrowing animals.
09:09 And the ash in the soil mostly came from the same eruptions.
09:14 The petrified forests in Yellowstone
09:16 were formed by catastrophe in very short order.
09:19 The park sign which told of multiple forests
09:22 over millions of years was taken down.
09:25 The uniformitarian explanation of the evidence
09:29 just doesn't hold up.
09:31 At the beginning of the global flood,
09:33 as described in "The Bible," the rains came down
09:36 and the fountains of the great deep were open.
09:38 It is believed these fountains were subterranean water
09:41 and volcanic fissures.
09:44 During the Flood, the water pushed across the land
09:47 ripping up forests across the landscape.
09:50 Some of these logs were buried instantly,
09:53 but many floated to the top of the waters creating
09:56 giant floating log mats, like those seen at Spirit Lake.
10:01 In various places around the world,
10:03 these logs would have begun to sink
10:05 to the bottom of the waters and buried quickly
10:08 in the sediments and ash.
10:10 With the immense pressure from above, the heat from below,
10:14 and the right chemical mixture in the ash,
10:16 the logs would have petrified quickly.
10:19 Some Secular scientists have told us
10:21 that it takes long ages to petrify wood.
10:23 But in reality, it doesn't take that long at all.
10:27 Experiments have been performed in the lab which
10:30 found that logs can petrify in less than a year.
10:33 There's a whole industry which petrifies wood
10:36 quickly and sells it as flooring in homes.
10:40 Given the right conditions, during the Flood,
10:42 producing a massive petrified forest would have been Easy
10:47 Events at Spirit Lake have given us a miniature laboratory
10:50 of scientific study for the way logs
10:53 get buried in a catastrophe and give us
10:56 a model for how things could have happened on a much
10:58 larger scale during the Flood.
11:01 Real science is what we can study and repeat, then use
11:05 results to explain all the other features around the world,
11:08 like at Yellowstone.
11:09 Real science is good confirmation
11:11 that "The Bible" can be trusted as Earth's true history book.
11:16 Science, it's awesome.
11:22 The catastrophic events at Mount St. Helens
11:25 have not only helped explain petrified forests, but also
11:28 how we got our large coal beds.
11:31 The coal deposits around the world are amazing.
11:35 They can be hundreds of feet thick
11:36 and provide fuel for heating and electricity generation.
11:40 The layers are usually very glassy and smooth.
11:44 Secular scientists have developed the idea
11:46 that these massive coal deposits were formed slowly
11:50 over millions of years in freshwater swamps.
11:53 Over long periods, the logs fell from the forests
11:56 and were buried in antiseptic waters of the swamp.
12:00 Over millions of years, a thick spongy layer
12:03 of broken plant material developed, called peat.
12:07 This layer of peat eventually got
12:09 buried by other sediments, such as clay, mud, and sand.
12:13 The peat eventually turned into coal.
12:16 Sounds like a good story.
12:18 But there are some challenges with the secular idea.
12:21 This is especially true when you study the quality of swamp peat
12:25 and peat beds.
12:27 Beds of peat can be found around the world.
12:30 In Nova Scotia, there's a big layer
12:32 of peat near the coastline.
12:35 This layer of peat was developed over a few years.
12:38 Recently the layer was exposed through erosion.
12:42 This layer of peat, and other swamp deposits,
12:45 shows something very interesting.
12:47 What we find is that these peats are usually full of roots
12:51 and the layers are not very smooth.
12:54 If the present is the key to the past,
12:56 as secular scientists believe, then there is a major problem.
13:00 When we go to the great coal beds of the world,
13:03 they are very smooth and glassy and absent of roots.
13:07 Such evidence simply remains without a good explanation
13:11 in the secular view.
13:12 But in a biblical view, there is no problem.
13:16 These layers were made mainly from tree bark
13:18 in the catastrophe, not swamp materials.
13:22 Because of the size of the beds, and the materials
13:24 that they were made from, it would
13:26 have required massive amounts of organic life to create.
13:29 And they must have been deposited and buried quickly.
13:32 The events at Mount St. Helens and the record
13:35 of the biblical flood could give us
13:37 the answer to how these massive coal beds were formed.
13:41 When the trees were uprooted during the eruption at Mount
13:43 St. Helens, then deposited as logs on Spirit Lake,
13:47 it didn't take long for those logs to rub together
13:50 and scratch most of the bark from them.
13:54 When Dr. Austin and his team dove into the lake,
13:57 they found about three feet of bark peat
14:00 on the bottom of the lake from the logs above.
14:03 If there were ongoing eruptions at Mount St. Helens,
14:06 the peak could be catastrophically buried
14:09 in ash and other sediments.
14:10 That would make this layer of peat a candidate
14:13 to be turned to coal.
14:15 As described earlier, the Flood would
14:17 have ripped up much of the vegetation
14:19 as the waters prevailed on the land.
14:21 Because of wave action and winds,
14:24 this vegetation is thought to have clumped together
14:26 on the surface, creating giant floating log mats.
14:30 Just like at Spirit Lake, the logs would have rubbed together
14:33 and the bark would have fallen off,
14:35 then sunk to the bottom of the sea to form a layer of peat.
14:39 The logs at Spirit Lake only produced three feet of peat.
14:43 With the immense amount of coal we find today,
14:46 there would have been a lot more vegetation
14:48 floating on the water, which is what we
14:50 would expect during the Flood.
14:53 After much of the peat was deposited,
14:55 the subsequent flood waters would
14:56 have laid sediments on top of it,
14:58 applying pressure to the peat and making
15:00 coal in very short order.
15:03 The type of coal we find in the giant coal
15:05 beds is very smooth and glassy, and, by natural means,
15:09 can really only be formed by rapidly laying down
15:12 tree bark under water.
15:14 If the giant coal beds were laid down from swamp action
15:17 over millions of years, the coal should
15:20 have been full of roots from the trees and plants growing
15:22 above the covered swamp.
15:24 But the roots just aren't there.
15:26 Does coal take long ages to form?
15:29 No, it doesn't.
15:30 Labs today are making coal in just a few weeks.
15:33 So it doesn't take long ages, like secular scientists
15:37 All you need is the right catastrophic conditions.
15:40 Using Mount St. Helens as our miniature laboratory,
15:44 "The Bible" as our history book and ultimate authority,
15:47 and the Flood as a catastrophic process,
15:50 the giant coal beds can be easily explained
15:53 using this floating log mat model.
15:55 And God's word is the key to unlocking the mystery.
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16:53 After the May 18th, 1980 eruption,
16:56 the blast zone north of the mountain was a wasteland.
16:59 In one minute, the virgin forests and pristine lakes
17:02 were transformed into a great desolate landscape.
17:06 The landslide deposit covered the valley floor up
17:09 to 600 feet.
17:11 Then it was buried in thick layers of ash, pumice, and mud
17:15 It was a new landscape and scientists
17:17 were very interested to see how long it
17:19 would take for life to return.
17:22 In the surrounding mountains, trees were knocked down
17:24 and all small vegetation was obliterated.
17:28 Any wildlife in the area was vaporized
17:30 in the steam explosion.
17:32 It is estimated that 1,500 elk were killed,
17:36 11 million fish, one million birds,
17:39 5,000 deer, and 200 black bears.
17:44 Much of Spirit Lake was considered
17:46 a toxic brew of volcanic gases seeping up from the lake bed.
17:50 Because of all the organic material now in the lake,
17:53 it became a hydrogen bubble stinking of methane.
17:58 Almost all of the oxygen in the water was depleted.
18:03 The temperature of the water had risen 20 degrees Celsius.
18:07 Legionella, which causes Legionnaires' disease,
18:10 was also found in the lake.
18:13 Very little could live there except for bacteria
18:16 and a little bit of plankton.
18:18 It was quite a mess.
18:20 At first glance, every living thing had been destroyed.
18:23 Many scientists thought it would take hundreds of years for life
18:27 to return.
18:28 But because of God's amazing design and nature,
18:31 life returned much sooner than they expected.
18:34 The lumber companies decided to replant their sections of land
18:38 with new trees.
18:40 But the Forest Service decided to let their land grow back
18:44 on its own.
18:45 It became a living laboratory on biological recovery
18:49 after a natural disaster.
18:51 Because it was spring when the mountain had erupted,
18:54 there was still snow on the ground.
18:56 Many animals were still in hibernation
18:58 and baby trees were hiding under the snow.
19:02 As spring turned into summer.
19:03 The pocket gophers came to life breaking up the soil
19:06 and spreading seeds into the blast zone.
19:10 Elk would eat plants outside the blast zone,
19:13 come in, and leave their scat on the ground.
19:16 The seeds in the scat would start growing as plants.
19:19 In the same way, birds also carried seeds in.
19:23 But much of the soil was heavy in nitrogen because of the ash.
19:27 Most plants don't grow well in nitrogen rich soils,
19:30 but some plants do.
19:32 Lupine began growing like crazy across the landscape.
19:36 Lupine is able to eat up the nitrogen
19:38 and develop the soil into a more friendly place for larger
19:43 Eventually alders and conifers begin to grow.
19:46 Since 1980, a young forest has grown lip of the blast zone.
19:51 In Spirit Lake, the bacteria went
19:53 to work eating up all those toxic chemicals.
19:56 The algae put oxygen back in the water.
19:58 Within five years, the lake was back
20:01 to its original pristine condition.
20:04 Fish were found in the lake again.
20:06 Some could have stayed in side streams,
20:08 but a majority of the comeback was
20:09 due to fisherman reintroducing trout into the lake.
20:13 Within a few years after the introduction,
20:15 it was known that some fish were reaching lengths of 25 inches
20:19 much due to the good nutrients provided
20:21 by the ash and sediments from the eruption.
20:25 The wildlife has returned, too.
20:28 There are now between 2,000 and 3,000 elk
20:31 living in the blast zone, almost double
20:34 of what there was before.
20:36 Birds and small animals have also
20:38 come back in great numbers.
20:41 The spider population has also flourished.
20:44 With a large open area, they have
20:45 been able to float in air currents unhindered.
20:49 It's estimate that two million spiders land
20:52 on one square mile of land in the blast zone every day.
20:56 Why is this fast recovery so important to those of us
21:00 who believe that "The Bible" is God's history book?
21:03 First of all, God has designed our earth
21:05 to recover from catastrophe much quicker
21:07 than secular scientists used to believe.
21:09 But we know this fact because God is good
21:12 and a good designer of our planet.
21:15 He may use His finger and make the mountain smoke,
21:18 but He also desires that there be a quick restoration of what
21:21 has been destroyed.
21:23 We see the goodness of God, even in this sin-cursed and broken
21:29 The recovery at Mount St. Helens gives us
21:31 a glimpse into the quick recovery of our planet
21:33 after the global Flood.
21:35 The global Flood was designed to destroy most everything.
21:39 Some sea life still survived, but much of it died as well.
21:43 Because it was God's judgment for man's rebellion,
21:46 only those aboard the ark, Noah and his family,
21:48 and all the land dwelling air breathing animals were saved.
21:53 Just like Mount St. Helens, the destruction
21:56 of the landscapes during the Flood was complete and quick.
22:00 "The Bible" tells us that by day 150,
22:02 the Flood had covered the highest elevation on the earth
22:05 and then began to recede.
22:08 Just over a year after boarding the ark, Noah and the animals
22:12 walked on to dry land.
22:14 It was important that there be enough vegetation
22:16 and food for the animals to survive
22:18 on the Earth's new surface.
22:20 We know that Noah sent out a dove.
22:22 And that dove came back with an olive leaf,
22:25 showing that vegetation was already
22:27 recovering on the planet.
22:29 We can see at Mount St. Helens a miniature laboratory
22:32 for quick recovery from a catastrophe.
22:35 And we can apply what we've learned here
22:37 to see that a quick recovery after the Flood is possible.
22:41 The recovery of an ecosystem is very complicated.
22:45 Here at Mount St. Helens, we see God's design and intellect
22:48 in how He created soils, plants, and animals to reclaim
22:52 the landscape quickly.
22:54 If given simply go chance processes without God's design
22:57 in, nature the recovery would have been impossible.
23:01 There was definite order to this biological recovery
23:04 at Mount St. Helens.
23:05 And it should draw us to praise God for His incredible design.
23:13 Mount St. Helens teaches us many things
23:15 about catastrophic processes, recovery, and even
23:18 a bit about God's character.
23:21 We know that 57 people died in the eruption.
23:24 Yet every one of them was warned about the coming danger.
23:28 In this same way, the word of God
23:30 says that there is another coming world wide destruction.
23:34 This time by fire.
23:36 All of us have been warned to get out of harm's way
23:38 by repenting of our sins and coming
23:41 into salvation through God's Son, Jesus Christ.
23:45 We have also learned that geological processes, thought
23:48 by secular scientists to take millions of years,
23:51 can have been much quicker given the right conditions.
23:54 The global Flood, as recorded in "The Bible,"
23:56 provides many of the right conditions
23:58 for geologic processes around the world
24:01 to produce these features in very short periods of time.
24:05 It doesn't take millions of years
24:07 to form canyons, stratified layers, and petrified forests,
24:11 only days, weeks, and months.
24:14 Secular scientists have their own ideas
24:16 about how the earth was formed over billions of years.
24:20 But they leave out God's supernatural touch
24:22 and judgement.
24:23 Many of the evidences they use to support evolutionary ideas,
24:27 are better interpreted when looking at them
24:29 through the truth of scripture.
24:31 Mount St. Helens was truly God's gift
24:34 to creationists by showing us catastrophic processes that
24:37 occurred during and after the Flood 4,300 years ago.
24:42 Science, it's awesome.
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